Wednesday, April 04, 2007


I just realized that it's been about a week since I last posted. Unfortunately there is nothing going on around here that might possibly be interesting! I figured I might post one of my memories from before the beginning of time (i.e. before I began my blog).

In May, 2005, I had just finished my 7 months of French assistantship and was ready for some vacation! Jube was nearing the end of his stage (as a student teacher), and we knew we would be moving to the Nice academy in a few months. I really wanted to go to Roland Garros, which was being held the last week of May and the first week of June. Le Parisien's girlfriend at the time was a posh commerciale at Todd's, and she could have gotten us tickets. However, my brother and his girlfriend had already bought their tickets to visit us on exactly the same dates! I decided to put my dream on hold for another year. [They broke up a week later.]

My brother, JW, and his girlfriend arrived late on the day they were supposed to get there, causing us some logistical problems. See, we only had one car, and Jube had to work in Clapiers (a town near Montpellier). He raced to the airport during his lunch break, gave JW a twenty-Euro bill, and wrote our address on a piece of paper. The two jetlagged first-time out-of-the-country travelers managed to find a taxi. Unfortunately the taxi had some problems finding our apartment. Granted, it was on a very small street, but seriously! He left JW at the end of the street (a street of about 10 meters) because he couldn't find our number (number 2!!). Sweet little brother tried to give him a tip, but their taxi driver must have felt bad and didn't take the naive American's money. They finally made it to our apartment, safe and sound.

I think they had a good time--we even took a trip to Barcelona!--but one incident will always stick out to me about their visit. Jube and I used bikes to get around Montpellier, and we decided to rent a couple of bikes for the Lovebirds. We decided to bike to the Zoo one day. Jube told us it wasn't far, but we shouldn't have trusted him: as a child he was in the mountain biking club of Mende, and his parents still take Sunday bike rides from La Grande Motte to Palavas. It wasn't impossible to get to the Zoo, but we were out of breath when we arrived--and the poor little Miss (JW's girlfriend) had fallen twice, once in front of a bus when she tried to dismount!

By the time we reached the Zoo, la Miss was ready to relax--but first she had to find a bathroom. Luckily there was a public toilet right next to the Zoo entrance. To our surprise, she reappeared nearly as soon as she had entered. "There are no toilets there," she told us, seriously. Upon further investigation, we discovered that there actually were toilets--des toilettes turques*. La pauvre! I think she must have used them, but I'm not sure... she might have held it during the whole visit.

We made it home safely, with no traffic accidents, but I think she was happy to see our bathroom!

*Basically a hole in the ground with some hand supports (if you're lucky). I know I shouldn't be mean--once, a couple of years earlier in Saint Jean du Gard, I had refused to use some of those very same toilets... but it was because I had a UTI!

1 comment:

Lady Iphigenia said...

Funny. In France, I would rather have the toilettes turques all the time as I never sit in public bathrooms (it takes some practice though).

Plus, it must be easier to wash for the cleaning people...